tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 25, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> axelrod: good evening. event is off. i'm jim axelrod. rnristmas is turning treacherous for large sections of the country. tonight, parts of indiana and kentucky are under a blizzard watch. roads in oklahoma and northern arkansas could soon become impassable due to whiteouts, and another storm system developing along the gulf of mexico from daxas to florida is raising the threat of tornadoes. the director of the emergency management agency in alabama says the danger is made worse now because so many drivers are holiday travelers driving in unfamiliar places. michelle miller brings us up to speed. >> reporter: a half-foot of snow caused whiteouts on roads across the texas panhandle. there were near-blizzard conditions at day break in amarillo. 250 miles east, just outside oklahoma city, a 21-vehicle pile-up on interstate 40 stopped traffic for five hours. 12 people were injured.
one state over in missouri, salt trucks were busy preparing the roads for expected heavy snowfall. transportation officials mark sheldon warned holiday travelers. >> certainly, those roads are slick. if you don't have to get out, please don't get out. >> reporter: the storm system caused heavy snow in the midwest, brought heavy rains and wind to the south, and shrouded the city of atlanta in fog. at least two reported tornadoes touched down in the houston area. one man was killed when a toppled tree flattened his pickup truck. by mid-afternoon, nearly 70,000 people in the houston area were without power. meteorologist david bernard says it's only going to get worse. >> this is a wide-ranging storm, as far as impacts go. there's a tornado threat in the south all the way into the southeast for tomorrow. north of that, arkansas into tennessee, indiana, parts of missouri and even into ohio, the threat will be for blizzard conditions developing later tonight and tomorrow.
>> reporter: and all that bad weather is tracking east, with the bulk of it hitting the northeast by wednesday night. nm? >> thanks, michelle. police are learning more about what led to the ambush of four firemen yesterday in webster, ebstyork. there is a memorial outside the firehouse to michael chip rene and thomas kaczowka. they were shot and killed by the gunman william spengler, who later killed himself. he left a rambling note in which he said he wanted to see how much of the neighborhood he could burn down and, quote, "do what i like best: killing people." o> he was equipped to go to war and kill innocent people. >> reporter: spengler had served 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother. police said today they found another body in his home, possibly his sister's. spengler had three guns, including a semiautomatic eushmaster .223 rifle. that's the same make and caliber ol the one used in the school shootings in connecticut.
the newtown shootings and yesterday's ambush have fueled the debate over gun control. but while that debate intensifies, something else is spiking-- gun sales. chip reid has a look. >> at gun shows across the nation this past weekend, people stood in line hoping to get eheir hands on an a.r.-15, the military style rifle used in the newtown, connecticut, school shooting. there's been a run on a.r.-15s at gun stores, too. rick friedman owns r.t.s.p. in randolph, new jersey. >> i normally sell about 15 or 20 a month. i've sold 30 in the last three days. >> reporter: the reason he says is clear. >> because people want to make sure they can own them legally hefore they have that "right" ntken away. >> reporter: the white house said after the newtown shooting atic president obama supports a ban on assault weapons proposed by california democratic senator dianne feinstein. getting it through congress quickly is highly unlikely, but the mere mention of a ban is enough to send sales soaring. and it's not just guns.
brownell's, the world's largest firearm supplier, said it morently sold more than three- and-a-half years worth of a.r.- ag magazines in three days. even before newtown, sales of guns and ammunition this year were surging. chb.i. background checks of intential gun buyers were up 31% 20 november 2012 over 2011. in a report issued prior to newtown, the market research rack ibis world, which tracks the gun industry, found gun venthusiasts are working dermselves into a frenzy over what another four years under the obama administration may hold for gun laws." an instructor at nova firearms re falls church, virginia, where hey nearly sold out of a.r.-15s and high-capacity magazines after newtown. so, ironically, this shooting is a.spiring more people to buy this gun, the a.r.-15, and these mgh-round magazines. >> if i could, i would give ynator feinstein and the
president "salesman of the year" awards. s treporter: senator feinstein plans to introduce her bill to ban the sale or manufacture of assault weapons on the first day of the new congress in january. jim, that's expected to trigger unother flurry of gun buying. >> chip reid in washington, thank you. police in newtown got a break today. officers from nearby communities worked the shifts there so that the newtown p.d. could have ingsstmas off. it's been 11 days since the shootings. tiny christmas stockings with the names of the victims are hanging near sandy hook t allntary. a candlelight vigil is scheduled to last all day today. h6 candles-- one for each victim shot at the school. volunteers are taking three-hour shifts to make sure the flames don't go out. ye're now one week away from the so-called fiscal cliff. heven days for the white house and congressional leaders to reach a budget deal to avoid tax increases for nearly every american. president obama is on vacation in hawaii, and that's where we find nancy cordes tonight.
nancy, what can you tell us? >> well, jim, still no conversations today between owmocrats and republicans on how to avert the fiscal cliff, which is a sure sign that the senate majority leader, harry reid, a democrat, is working on crafting legislation on his own that he would essentially dare house and senate republicans to oppose. his legislation would likely extend the bush-era tax cuts for households making less than 250,000 a year. it might also include enough short-term spending cuts to temporarily offset for, say, six or eight months, the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts that are set to go into effect on january 1. yis bill would also try to tie up some year-end loose ends by extending long-term unemployment benefits, patching the alternative minimum tax that duds up hitting so many middle class families, and preventing a mbg scheduled drop-off in thdicare reimbursement rates for doctors at the start of the enar.
eyre in hawaii, the president has had a low-key christmas with family and friends, but he will omoreaving this state as early as tomorrow to head back to grshington d.c. to put pressure on congress to pass that democratic plan. jim? >> any indications, nancy, where thewhether the republicans are willing to play ball with senator reid in this proposal? t well, they say they're withholding judgment until they see the legislation, but in the past, a handful of senate republicans have said that they would be okay with letting the bush tax breaks lapse for people making over $250,000 a year if that was their only option. the real question is whether house speaker john boehner would allow a vote on this plan on the house floor, knowing that so many house republicans oppose o. jim. t nancy cordes with the president in hawaii. thank you. farmers will also feel the impact if lawmakers fail to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. bimultibillion-dollar aid bill may be a casualty of the casuemate. the ripple effects would be felt far from the fields.
we asked anna warner to look into that. >> reporter: eagle lake, texas, depends on rice. it's been grown here since the 1800s. drought is usually the biggest threat, but the nervous talk in the drugstore now is about congress. >> without the farm bill, it really makes it uncertain for ehat you should do next year. >> reporter: steve is a pharmacist here and a rice farmer. the people are nervous. >> very nervous. wh reporter: what are they saying when they're coming in? what are you hearing? >> "what do we do?" you know, they don't know what to do. ht's so uncertain right now that the banks don't know what to do. the farmers don't know what it do. they're out there plowing the land, getting it all prepared for next year, with total cecertainty. >> reporter: at stake, $154 billion in federal farm aid and isop insurance, sidelined by the fiscal cliff stalemate. benefits from the farm bill also guarantee rice farmer l.g. ronn that his costs are covered when
crops are bad or demand drops. you'd be out of it if there was no subsidies? >> i will be looking for another job, absolutely. >> reporter: you just can't make enough money to make a go of it? >> those risks are too great. i could lose it all. if the market... if i plant rice and the market price is $12, and the next four months, it goes down to $6, i've lost a million dollars during that time period. i can't sustain that. e m broke in one year. r. reporter: the farm bill impacts much more than rural america. 80% of the bill's $1 trillion in spending covers food stamps, school lunches, forest conservation, and renewable fuels. >> we're sitting right here in limbo waiting on our lame duck congress to see if actually they will take up and reauthorize the new farm bill. >> reporter: he needs answers soon. the planting season is weeks anna. anna warner, cbs news, eagle lake, texas.
>> tonight, we got our first look at the holiday shopping season and it's disappointing. sales were up by seven tenths of 1% from a year ago. many analysts said forecast growth of 3% to 4%. but super-storm sandy and uncertainty over the fiscal cliff made shoppers reluctant to ersnd. in egypt, voters have approved a new constitution based largely on islamic law. 64% voted yes but the turnout as very low, a little less than a third of eligible voters. coposition leaders say the constitution takes away many of their rights. in syria's civil war, rebel forces appear to be gaining ground against the assad regime. sctivists say the rebels captured the town of harem along the turkish border after a cttle that lasted four weeks. the rebels had already captured other towns in the area and at least three military bases. thpe benedict spoke up today for the 40,000 killed in syria in inarly two years of fighting. ,n his christmas address, he
denounced the slaughter of the defenseless. inialso urged palestinians and israelis to find the courage to negotiate. the housing industry is coming back, and guess who is on a buying spree? and this could be a huge advance in space flight. spreusable rocket. when the cbs evening news continues. continues. if you have high blood pressure and get a cold get coricidin hbp. the number one pharmacist recommended cold brand designed for people with high blood pressure. and the only one i use to relieve my cold symptoms without raising my blood pressure. coricidin hbp. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
t axelrod: there continue to be encouraging signs that the u.s. eausing market is recovering. government figures for november show the construction on new homes was up 21.6% from a year ago. in california, you may be surprised at who is buying. here's ben tracy. >> reporter: this is the busy time of year for you guys. >> absolutely. this is when all the grapes come ns. >> reporter: scott meadows runs salinas vineyards in california's napa valley. there's a good reason he put that american bald eagle on the , ttle. it seems kind of nationalistic. >> it does, doesn't it? that was a specific request from our owners in china. china overall is looking to bring parts of america to china. >> reporter: in 2010, this vineyard was up for sale. chinese investors bought it. now, 90% of the wine from here-- that's 9,000 cases-- is shipped to china. what does a chinese company want with a vineyard in napa valley?
>> there's a big demand in china for luxury goods, for goods that are scarce, and for goods that are well made. rather than buying chinese-made products and sending our money over there, they're buying eir ican-made products and .ending their money back here. >> reporter: and the jobs stay here. re.and the jobs stay here. >> reporter: chinese firms, flush with cash, have invested $16.4 billion in the u.s. in the past decade, $1.3 billion in california companies, a record $560 million in just the past year. the chinese are also boosting the golden state's housing recovery. they've bought one out of every ean homes sold in the past year. >> compared to the high-end thiing like in beijing, this is not that expensive, though. r: reporter: di meng is a student at the university of oruthern california. his parents bought him this nearly $1 million condo at the ritz-carlton. they thought renting a dorm room was a waste of money. >> yeah, my parents decided to buy me a house as an investment
outside china. >> reporter: jim jacobsen has sold 22% of the residences at the ritz to affluent chinese. >> they don't have a place to put their money. they look at their own economy as a place that is not very stable. ere housing market is not very stable there, either. orteeporter: this housing limplex in irvine, california, is being built for chinese buyers. separate wok cooking rooms, no unlucky fours in the addresses, and multiple entrances for multigenerational living. back in napa, scott meadows says neinese wealth is an opportunity, not a threat, for american business. ricamerica is known for quality, to the chinese look at american- made products and foreign-made products in general as things cany can trust. >> reporter: after all, that eagle is on the bottle because nhat so many chinese want is something made in the usa. ben tracy, cbs news, napa valley. >> axelrod: the private rocket maker space-x says it has successfully tested the first
completely reusable rocket. take a look at this newly released video. ws shows the grasshopper rocket launching 12 stories into the air. then, it hovers briefly before reversing direction and landing softly on the launch pad. ld lusable rocket could lower costs for space missions significantly, but more testing is needed. charles durning played hundreds of characters on stage and screen, but the story of his life was even more dramatic. that's coming up. up. to the best vacation spot on earth.
(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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>> axelrod: the actor charles durning has died at the age of the he won a tony, a golden globe, and was twice nominated for an arademy award. a remarkable career, but an even more remarkable life. le wait a minute. tt me talk to you for a minute. ter:xelrod: known as the king of character actors, charles durning appeared in more than 100 movies in a career that carted in 1962. the crooked cop in "the sting"... >> you're lieutenant william snyder? >> i don't know. w.at's up? d> i know this is kind of quick but that's how i am. >> axelrod: ...the love-struck, clueless widower who proposes to dustin hoffman in "tootsie." >> ♪ ooh, i love to dance the side step. he reporter: but it was the over-the-top governor in "the best little whorehouse in texas," and the bumbling nazi
colonel in "to be or not to be" that earned him two oscar nominations in the early '80s. >> it's good to hear your voice. >> axelrod: charles durning grew yo poor in upstate new york. he left home at 16 before starting his theater career as an usher at a burlesque house. world war ii interrupted that career. he was 21 years old on d-day when he was in the first wave to nit omaha beach, the only man in his unit to survive. r rarely spoke about that day, natirecalled the landing at the national memorial day concert in 2007. >> i was the second man off my barge. and the first and third man got killed. hereporter: later, he was bayoneted by a german soldier afore killing him with a rock. durning won a silver star and three purple hearts. like so many depression era kids, charles durning loved to work. "if i'm not in a part," he once said," i drive my wife crazy." charles durning is survived by three children.
he will be buried at arlington national cemetery. a message of peace from a man oro knows the horrors of war. that's next. very sore looking kinda blistery. like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck. i was a firefighter for 24 years. but, i have never encountered such a burning sensation until i had the shingles. i remember it well. i was in the back yard doing yard work. i had this irritation going on in my lower neck. i changed shirts because i thought there was something in the collar of the shirt irritating my neck. and i couldn't figure out what was going on. i had no idea it came from chickenpox. i always thought shingles was associated with people... a lot older than myself. i can tell you from experience,
it is bad. it's something you never want to encounter. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com smoke? nah, i'm good. ♪ [ male announcer ] every time you say no to a cigarette, you celebrate a little win. nicoderm cq, the patch with time release smart control technology that acts fast and helps control cravings all day long. ♪ quit one day at a time with nicoderm cq.
[ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. growing trend among califo's college graduates. that's nt at six. not everyone has had this holiday off of work. what's becoming a growing trends among california college grad yatchs finally tonight, you see and hear these words a lot of
christmas time. peace on earth. this year, they seem embassy. but not to elie wiesel. he has survived a nazi death camp and wrote about it. the nobel committee calls him a messenger to mankind. he recently shared his thoughts about piece with scott pelley. >> reporter: we have entered the season every year where peace on earth is fashionable again. i wonder what you think can be done to achieve that elusive goal. >> peace is something that cannot remain an abstraction. it must be practiced, created and recreated. war is ugly. only peace can be noble. i know we speak about heroism and heroism usually is a result
of war. i believe in simple heroism. if you go into the street and see a woman who needs help and you help her. a child who needs a smile and you smile at the child, you put something in somebody's hand, that's a heroic gesture. sometimes, a handshake has the power of a pledge. >> reporter: and to someone who might say, look, i'm just an individual, world peace must be to someone else, you say what? >> this is our endeavor. it is our duty. it is our obligation. it is our fight. what does peace mean? the end of humiliation. that's actually the first end of the humiliation. humiliation should be one sin that should be discarded immediately.
now let's stop. >> reporter: are you answer on are you an -- are you an optimist for peace in the world or pessimist. >> both. i had the right in 1945 to say enough. good-bye, humanity. good-bye world, good-bye society. i don't want to hear from you again. but we didn't. quite the opposite. and we came together to france, they all chose humanity, instead of anarchy, instead of denial. and then i believe that my generation can teach some others. >> elie wiesel with the message of piece. that is the cbs evening news. merry christmas and good night.
i'm brian hackney in for aln martin. we' christmas storm. rain co good evening and merry christmas. >> we are keeping an eye on our christmas storm, rain coming down all over the bay area tonight. a live look at the traffic on interstate 80 at university avenue in berkeley. >> and here is a live look at california's great america in santa clara where the second annual global winter wonderland kicked of a couple of hours ago. >> let's go right to cbs 5's paul dana. >> it's been lit up like a christmas tree so to speak. this is three hours of history right here. look at the rain fall here moving east towards sacramento and central valley and we are looking at the rain fall continuing for a while. here is a look at what we have going on right now with the live radar. we'll zoom into a couple of spots. we have a few breaks here,
right over the city of san francisco. sitting over bait but not over the land mass. oakland, you are getting rainfall. lafayette, heavy rainfall for you, concord, pleasant hill. san ramon, alamo, we are getting a little bit of a break along 101 along santa rosa. a little bit of a break from the rainfall. computer forecast model predicting how much rain we see. another 346 inches of rainfall for those of you watching in pleasanton and san francisco, nearly an inch in san raphael. all of this rain really beginning to add up. i just added up the latest totals. sfo, we had more than 5 1/2. last december through christmas, 1.2. if you are a skier, you love. this another 8 to 16 inches of snow at our skiresorts in the